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Topic: Sound quality on 120GB classic -- still a problem?

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Old 01-09-2009, 01:24 AM
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Sound quality on 120GB classic -- still a problem?

I'm going to the local Apple store tomorrow for a problem with a Mac, but might wind up snagging a 120GB while there.

I recall some of you complained about the sound quality in the 160GB classic, but couldn't find any recent posts addressing whether the issue has been resolved in the 120GB.

Does the 120GB classic sound as good as a 5th gen?

Or does the problem remain?



Transitioning from a June 2006 XP Pro Dell E1505 to a Windows 7 Dell XPS 16 received mid-December 2009, and with my first iTunes library created on a June 2003 Inspiron 8500 and hooking up to a 120GB Classic.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:48 AM
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I recently bought a 120gb Classic to replace my 30gb Video. I primarily use it in my car, but the sound quality has been better since the switch. In fact, I had to leave the backlight on with my 30gb to avoid an annoying hiss during playback. My 120gb has no such issues...

-c
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:31 PM
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I bought a classic 120 yesterday, and the first thing i noticed was the SQ. I had not listened to the previous versions to compare, but i do own a touch ipod 1st gen and the difference between the 2 is huge. I think some people are confused about what exactly SQ means, while the new classic is very quiet, no amplifier background noise like the touch when its not playing, the actual SQ is terrible. I would almost compare it to using a low end class D amp to run mids and highs compared to a nice class a/b amp. when you listen to music the touch just blows it away all around, but when the song ends, you can hear noise until the amp shuts off, me personally id rather have background noise when nothings playing and an ipod that actually sounds decent than some super quiet one that doesnt. im taking my classic back after 1 day, going to try out a 2nd gen touch 32gb even though its more exp and less storage, i didnt pay 500 dollars for my westone 3 ear phones to listen to them on a crappy ipod that apple swapped out the audio chip to save money, woflson to cirrus....sigh
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:31 PM
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Alright, let's get things straight here. Personal opinions are nice and all but nothing can compare to scientific tests and blind listening tests. Many people complained about the iPod classic when it was first release but only after they found out that Apple continued to use an older sound chip in the device while the iPod nano and iPod touch received upgrades. These complaints were quickly quieted when people found out the merits of blind tests (just listening to a device and saying that the sound quality is terrible is not enough) and when the RMAA conducted their tests. The RMAA determined that all three iPod classic models can keep up with the competition just fine. Their outputs were physically measured and then compared to other players. The iPod classic had results that were pretty much the same as the new Zune, Creative Zen, and some other Sony portable players.

The differences between other iPods and the iPod classic really can't be heard when blind tests are concerned. I have a device that allows me to switch between different inputs. I setup a blind test one night (with the help of a friend) and all my portable players were using lossless content. Anyway, the only time I could spot out the iPod touch was when there was a silent portion in the song and I could hear the hiss.

So don't worry about the sound quality of the iPod classic. It will give you results that are just fine.



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Old 01-17-2009, 04:42 PM
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dude your wrong, way wrong, the new classic uses the different chip, i can show you article after article pointing out how apple switched vendors from wolfson to cirrus and went with a less expensive dac and amplifier back when the first 160 gb classic came out, and they still use that chip in the new 120 gb. Now for the first gen touches. they stayed with the wolfson chip, i cant speak about the 2nd gen touch, i havent heard one yet, do some research on this, ive seen scientific tests that back this up, its all over the web if you google it.
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Old 01-17-2009, 05:26 PM
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The cirrus chip is older. Alright, I can reword what I said: Apple used an older audio chip in the 120GB iPod classic.

I would still take hard numbers (ie data) from tests conducted by the RMAA and blind tests conducted by many audio professionals over different review websites and people complaining in the forums.

Remember that it is popular to hate what is popular and that is exactly what people are doing when they hate on iPods. Sure, there are some claims that are legitimate but I have heard "iPod sound quality sucks" for over 5 years now. These claims have been refuted over and over again yet people still reply "Nah, nah. I can hears teh diffarance. Teh iBot is teh sucksorz!"



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Old 01-17-2009, 08:17 PM
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i tried to paste the tests that showed a difference in the output when measured but this web site wont let me paste other urls for some strange reason, so heres what it basically found

- A slight uplift in treble [boosted high frequencies]
- A group delay that depends on frequency [fuzzy 3D image]
- A strong modulation with 22.1k, causing intermodulation distortion [distortion]

infact the link is from these very forums

http: //blog. wired. com/music/2007/09/ipod- classics-s.html

my ipod touch sounds amazing with the westone3 phones, infact its better sounding than my $5000 car stereo or my even larger more expensive home stereo, so im a total fan of ipods, i even bought a creatve zen x fi and returned it a day later for numerous reasons , i just wanted to test one out for the heck of it, but trust me, the classic i have is not up to the touch, hands down. im only hating on the ipod i just got that sounds like crap lol, not the one i have that is awesome.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:14 PM
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Well, the problem with your link is that it is from 2007 and does not include the 2008 iPod classic. Someone else on a different set of forums said it better so I will just post their quote. They were talking about comparing a 120GB iPod classic to a 120GB Zune. AFAIK, many review websites (and people on forums) claim that Zunes have higher audio quality than ANY iPod on the market. Here is what they had to say:
The user Soap, on the hydrogenaudio forums said this:
"I'm not going to deep-link the paper, but you can read about it here and download there as well, but it has been shown that there is a very strong correlation between accuracy (cold, hard, measurable accuracy) and listener preference when it comes to loudspeakers. It is not a reach at all to conclude then that a more accurate DAP / headphone combo will be perceived as better by most. (It is hard to have accuracy at the speaker level w/o accuracy at the player level.)

This is not to say that if Device A is more accurate than Device B then you necessarily will have a problem with Device B - it is to say that if we accept that accuracy can be measured, and if Device A is demonstrable as an accurate device - there is no need to worry about that part of the sound chain.

The only current-gen Zune RMAA test I see is actually the first google hit here. While we don't see all the pretty charts, what we are privy to is dead nuts, and where not dead nuts is below my threshold of my hearing (OMG! 20HZ stereo crosstalk 72 decibels down! biggrin.gif ). Point being - I'd eat my left big toe before believing there is an audible difference between the two from what I have seen and read."

So, to summarize, the iPod classic can hold its own. I suggest that you read the last link that takes you to the AnandTech website. In case you missed the link, it is located here. The only leg up that the iPod touch has over the iPod classic is its frequency response but the iPod classic is scored slightly less. The iPod touch is rated at excellent and the iPod classic is rated at very good for frequency response. They summarize their measurements and say:
"From a mechanical perspective there are no significant problems or differences among the devices.

Subjectively we find ourselves agreeing with RMAA when using our Sennheiser headphones. The perceived sound quality produced by each device is the same among several types of music with nothing sounding off."

So the RMAA and AnandTech come out with the same results saying that there is no audible differences between the devices. I concur with those results as the only audible difference between the two is the hiss with the iPod touch.

The wired link also talks about an experiment run by Marc Heijligers. I think the quote at the end of his experiment says it best: "The measurements show a correlation with the things I hear, but from a pure scientific perspective the cause-consequence is not determined by these measurements." Basically he couldn't find anything with his experiment that was concrete.

So I can keep throwing all of these links at you saying that the iPod classic is fine and can compete with other portable players on the market. However, people will think what they want to think and it is starting to look like I am talking to a brick wall. Go ahead and think what you want. Just know that people over at hydrogenaudio disagree with it, the RMAA disagree, AnandTech disagrees, and I disagree.



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